Unisys Plots 'Hybrid Enterprise' Cloud Course Through New Services, Consulting

Unisys launched a three-pronged cloud computing effort Wednesday designed to get enterprises into the cloud at their own pace through an approach the company has dubbed the "Hybrid Enterprise."

The main focus, said John Treadway, director of cloud services and solutions at Blue Bell, Penn.-based solution provider Unisys, is to make the move to the cloud a journey, not a migration that happens in one fell swoop; and to make it an IT update that leverages both cloud and on-premise technologies and architectures where they make the most sense. Unisys looks at where applications make the most sense to run, whether in data centers, hosted data centers, private clouds and public clouds.

"Our customers know there's a whole concept of cloud, but vendors are forgetting that the bulk of IT infrastructure is not cloud," Treadway said.

Failure to adequately leverage both cloud and on-premise environments can lead to a concept Treadway called the "cloud in a corner syndrome" where cloud environments are small and isolated from the rest of the architecture and not integrated with necessary mission-critical systems. Cloud in a corner, Treadway said, can lead to higher costs, increased complexity, reduced control and the need for additional and often overlapping resources.

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To facilitate the move to the cloud, Unisys is marrying new consulting and services options in a bid that helps organizations leverage and manage multiple IT delivery models – traditional and cloud-based – within a consistent computing environment that is managed as a single entity. Through a set of methodologies and repeatable processes, Unisys will help enterprises and customers determine cloud needs and deployment options and then help design and implement them.

The offerings focus on the three main components of the infrastructure: The applications, the data center and management, Treadway said, to plot a roadmap for the cloud and management of cloud projects that integrates with existing investments.

Unisys' Hybrid Enterprise model is built on the premise that "not all applications can run in all places and not all places are built for all applications," Treadway said.

For applications, Unisys's consulting and services plays will help clients inventory and asses current and required applications and determine which are best suited for a specific IT model, whether that is a traditional data center, outsourcing or a certain type of cloud. Unisys will also determine if applications should be rearchitected for the cloud and the cost and ROI involved in each IT model.

Unisys, though its Hybrid Enterprise approach, seeks to answer the question: "I've got a billion applications; where am I going to run them?" Treadway said.

NEXT: Unisys' New CloudBuild Services

On the data center side, Unisys launched new CloudBuild Services that include an "eight-track" methodology to help clients choose the right delivery model for applications or projects. The methodology lets users create a unified data center spanning delivery models leveraging eight key data center areas: management tools and processes; financial policies, models and approaches; physical and virtual architecture design; security; storage; network engineering; management of service delivery according to ITIL standards; and support services.

CloudBuild Services let clients plan, design and implement cloud solutions within an integrated environment in a cost effective manner. Through Unisys CloudBuild Services, Unisys will offer a series of workshops and joint engagement activities, using the eight-track methodology, to create an integrated plan, roadmap and detailed design delivered as an integrated "concept of operations" ("ConOps") document to guide implementations of integrated data center and cloud infrastructures. And during the implementation phase, Unisys will work with client teams to build and integrate their cloud as defined in the planning and design stage.

And for management, Unisys' Hybrid Enterprise offers a consistent management approach that covers policy and governance; monitoring and service event management; security and risk management; financial management; and service management via a vendor-neutral approach that lets clients mix and match solutions. Unisys offers management solutions that can be deployed on-site or Unisys can offer them as a managed service. Unisys cloud management software delivers automated provisioning, security, chargeback and customer service-delivery-portal functions, and Unisys Converged Remote Infrastructure Management Suite of solutions offers integrated, single pane management of multi-vendor infrastructures.

The ultimate goal is to get customers up to speed with the IT model that makes the most sense and offer a streamlined way to manage those environments. Treadway said the cloud doesn't always solve the problems, so Unisys is taking a more realistic and grounded approach with the Hybrid Enterprise suite of services.

"We don't recommend everything for the cloud," he said.